African Farming Episode 9: Ntsiki Biyela – From Domestic Worker to Acclaimed Winemaker

She grew up herding cattle and milking cows in a remote rural village in the Ugu district of KwaZulu-Natal. Never in her wildest dreams could Ntsiki Biyela ever have imagined that she would one day make history by becoming South Africa’s first black female winemaker. Instead she took a job as a domestic worker after matric and thought that was how her life would be. But fate had other plans, and when a former teacher let her know about a scholarship to study winemaking, she jumped at the chance. Upon arriving at Stellenbosch, she remembers marveling at the huge mountains, and the many tiny trees she would later discover were actually vineyards! But that was then, and today, Ntsiki is an internationally acclaimed winemaker producing 14 000 bottles of wine a year of which 80% is exported. Don’t tell this lady anything can’t be done!

share this